May 20, 2023 -BOSTON (AP) — Jimmy Butler went forehead-to-forehead with the Boston Celtics, and the Heat are heading back to Miami with an opportunity to advance to the NBA Finals.
Butler scored 27 points, hitting back-to-back buckets to tie the game and give Miami the lead, and the eighth-seeded Heat left Boston with a 111-105 victory Friday night and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Butler also provided eight rebounds, six assists and an emotional spark after Boston’s Grant Williams started jawing with him: Butler stared down Williams, with both players drawing technical fouls for the double head-butt.
Then “Jimmy Buckets” scored and scored some more — nine points in all during a 23-9 run that turned a nine-point deficit into a 105-100 lead.
“I knew that was going to be good for us,” said Caleb Martin, who came off the bench to score 25 points. “We’ll take mad Jimmy at any time. You could kind of see it in his eyes he was ready to go after that.”
Bam Adebayo had 22 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists for Miami, which returns home with a chance to sweep and become just the second No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals.